1 Corinthians 14
New American Standard Bible
Prophecy a Superior Gift
14 (A)Pursue love, yet earnestly (B)desire (C)spiritual gifts, but especially that you may (D)prophesy. 2 For the one who (E)speaks in a tongue does not speak to people, but to God; for no one [a]understands, but [b]in his spirit he speaks (F)mysteries. 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for (G)edification, [c](H)exhortation, and consolation. 4 The one who (I)speaks in a tongue (J)edifies himself; but the one who (K)prophesies (L)edifies the church. 5 Now I wish that you all (M)spoke in tongues, but (N)rather that you would prophesy; and greater is the one who prophesies than the one who (O)speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive (P)edification.
6 But now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I speak to you either by way of (Q)revelation, or of (R)knowledge, or of (S)prophecy, or of (T)teaching? 7 Yet even lifeless instruments, whether flute or harp, in producing a sound, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or on the harp? 8 For if (U)the trumpet produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? 9 So you too, unless you produce intelligible speech by the tongue, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will just be (V)talking to the air. 10 There are, perhaps, a great many kinds of [d]languages in the world, and none is incapable of meaning. 11 So if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be (W)unintelligible to the one who speaks, and the one who speaks will be unintelligible [e]to me. 12 So you too, since you are eager to possess [f]spiritual gifts, strive to excel for the (X)edification of the church.
13 Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue is to pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unproductive. 15 (Y)What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit, but I will pray with the mind also; I will (Z)sing with the spirit, but I will sing with the mind also. 16 For otherwise, if you bless God [g]in the spirit only, how will the one who occupies the place of the [h]outsider know to say (AA)the “Amen” at your (AB)giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you are saying? 17 For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not (AC)edified. 18 I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all; 19 nevertheless, in church I prefer to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.
Instruction for the Church
20 (AD)Brothers and sisters, (AE)do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil (AF)be infants, but in your thinking be mature. 21 In (AG)the [i]Law it is written: “(AH)By men of strange tongues and by the lips of strangers I will speak to this people, and even so they will not listen to Me,” says the Lord. 22 So then, tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but (AI)prophecy is not for unbelievers, but for those who believe. 23 Therefore if the whole church gathers together and all the people speak in tongues, and [j]outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that (AJ)you are insane? 24 But if all (AK)prophesy, and an unbeliever or an [k]outsider enters, he is (AL)convicted by all, he is called to account by all; 25 (AM)the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will (AN)fall on his face and worship God, (AO)declaring that God is certainly among you.
26 (AP)What is the outcome then, (AQ)brothers and sisters? When you assemble, (AR)each one has a (AS)psalm, has a (AT)teaching, has a (AU)revelation, has a (AV)tongue, has an (AW)interpretation. (AX)All things are to be done for edification. 27 If anyone speaks in a (AY)tongue, it must be by two or at the most three, and each one in turn, and one is to (AZ)interpret; 28 but if there is no interpreter, he is to keep silent in church; and have him speak to himself and to God. 29 Have two or three (BA)prophets speak, and have the others (BB)pass judgment. 30 But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, then the first one is to keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be [l]exhorted; 32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; 33 for God is not a God of (BC)confusion, but of peace.
As in (BD)all the churches of the [m](BE)saints, 34 the women are to (BF)keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but (BG)are to subject themselves, just as (BH)the Law also says. 35 If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is [n]improper for a woman to speak in church. 36 Or was it from you that the word of God first went out? Or has it come to you only?
37 (BI)If anyone thinks that he is a prophet or (BJ)spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you (BK)are the Lord’s commandment. 38 But if anyone does not recognize this, [o]he is not recognized.
- 1 Corinthians 14:2 Lit hears
- 1 Corinthians 14:2 Or by the Spirit
- 1 Corinthians 14:3 Or encouragement
- 1 Corinthians 14:10 Lit voices
- 1 Corinthians 14:11 Or in my estimation
- 1 Corinthians 14:12 Lit spirits
- 1 Corinthians 14:16 Or with the
- 1 Corinthians 14:16 Lit private person
- 1 Corinthians 14:21 I.e., Old Testament, Isaiah
- 1 Corinthians 14:23 See note 2 v 16
- 1 Corinthians 14:24 See note 2 v 16
- 1 Corinthians 14:31 Or encouraged
- 1 Corinthians 14:33 I.e., God’s people
- 1 Corinthians 14:35 Or disgraceful
- 1 Corinthians 14:38 Two early mss let him continue not to recognize it
1 Corinthians 14
New International Version
Intelligibility in Worship
14 Follow the way of love(A) and eagerly desire(B) gifts of the Spirit,(C) especially prophecy.(D) 2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue[a](E) does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them;(F) they utter mysteries(G) by the Spirit. 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening,(H) encouraging(I) and comfort. 4 Anyone who speaks in a tongue(J) edifies(K) themselves, but the one who prophesies(L) edifies the church. 5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues,[b] but I would rather have you prophesy.(M) The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues,[c] unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.(N)
6 Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation(O) or knowledge(P) or prophecy or word of instruction?(Q) 7 Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the pipe or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? 8 Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?(R) 9 So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. 10 Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning. 11 If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker is a foreigner to me.(S) 12 So it is with you. Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit,(T) try to excel in those that build up(U) the church.
13 For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say.(V) 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays,(W) but my mind is unfruitful. 15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit,(X) but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing(Y) with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding. 16 Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an inquirer,[d] say “Amen”(Z) to your thanksgiving,(AA) since they do not know what you are saying? 17 You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified.(AB)
18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19 But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.(AC)
22 Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy,(AH) however, is not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and inquirers or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind?(AI) 24 But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, 25 as the secrets(AJ) of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”(AK)
Good Order in Worship
26 What then shall we say, brothers and sisters?(AL) When you come together, each of you(AM) has a hymn,(AN) or a word of instruction,(AO) a revelation, a tongue(AP) or an interpretation.(AQ) Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.(AR) 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. 28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.
29 Two or three prophets(AS) should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.(AT) 30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. 32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.(AU) 33 For God is not a God of disorder(AV) but of peace(AW)—as in all the congregations(AX) of the Lord’s people.(AY)
34 Women[f] should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak,(AZ) but must be in submission,(BA) as the law(BB) says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.[g]
36 Or did the word of God(BC) originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? 37 If anyone thinks they are a prophet(BD) or otherwise gifted by the Spirit,(BE) let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command.(BF) 38 But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored.[h]
- 1 Corinthians 14:2 Or in another language; also in verses 4, 13, 14, 19, 26 and 27
- 1 Corinthians 14:5 Or in other languages; also in verses 6, 18, 22, 23 and 39
- 1 Corinthians 14:5 Or in other languages; also in verses 6, 18, 22, 23 and 39
- 1 Corinthians 14:16 The Greek word for inquirer is a technical term for someone not fully initiated into a religion; also in verses 23 and 24.
- 1 Corinthians 14:21 Isaiah 28:11,12
- 1 Corinthians 14:34 Or peace. As in all the congregations of the Lord’s people, 34 women
- 1 Corinthians 14:35 In a few manuscripts these verses come after verse 40.
- 1 Corinthians 14:38 Some manuscripts But anyone who is ignorant of this will be ignorant